Carla Sutherland, senior recruiter
Our culture is what drives Reward Gateway and is the heartbeat of who we are as a organization. As one of our senior recruiters, my role is to make sure we’re getting the right people in the right roles. It’s a lot of pressure when you’re working for a company whose mission is “Let’s make the world a better place to work!”
Our company values are in each and every one of our employees. And it’s achieving that perfect balance of making sure our values come naturally to some, and others are willing to work at others, that helps create and maintain a diverse workforce. As I’m interviewing and screening candidates, I’ve been reflecting on my own growth when it comes to living out some of our own core values. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
The value: be human
Here’s what we say: “RG People understand that every colleague, client, partner and supplier is another human being with their own hopes, fears, likes and dislikes. They understand that everyone has a career and personal life to juggle. They empathise and understand what each person needs to be happy and successful. They connect on a deeply human level, building resilient, balanced, long-term relationships.”
And here’s what I do: Although prospective candidates could be our next leaders, I remember that at the end of the day, it’s a human being behind the phone during a call or sitting across the table from me during an interview. They will want to be treated as I would be and given the attention I would desire during this period. We are building relationships and giving someone an experience, and that’s something they will never forget. If I were to argue what’s the “most important” value for a recruiter, it would likely be this one.
The value: work hard
Here’s what we say: “RG people work hard because they love what they do and get a real buzz from delivering to high standards. They live on the edge of their comfort zone, working with a strong sense of urgency and purpose. They’re busy and under pressure but rarely stressed, because they’re in control and they’ve chosen a fast paced ride. They thrive on challenge”
And here’s what I do: Urgency, urgency and more urgency. While working and living in NYC, I quickly learned to have a sense of urgency and work hard (and fast) to get the job at hand done. It taught me to have a sense of urgency in many different aspects but certainly with candidates. If you’re not doing it, someone else is, so you need to take the bull by its horns and get it done.
The value: love your job
Here’s what we say: RG People are passionate, committed and they inspire colleagues and clients every day. They love what they do. Their career and their work life are incredibly important to them and they take it seriously.
This is my favorite and it’s contagious. Candidates will take notice and will be able to hear the excitement in your voice. As I have quoted before, “Do What You Love, Love What You Do!” If I sound boring and uninterested, how am I supposed to get a candidate excited about the potential to work here?
Reflecting on how you personally live out your company’s values will shine through during your next interview. And as a recruiter, or really as any kind of employee, whether you’re involved on the people team or not, it’s important to continually think about your company. During interviewing, here are a few tips on how to get your values to the surface:
- Give candidates context. Don’t fire off questions like “What’s your favorite value?” without first taking time to explain them, or, even better, frame your questions around the value without directly saying it. “Tell me a time when you had a crazy idea, and how you convinced your boss to try it out” is a better way of asking, “How do you push the boundaries?”
- Get used to talking “in values” with the hiring manager. What’s the most important value for this role, according to the hiring manager? For instance, in a customer service role, the value “Delight your customers” might be the most important as you want someone who will put the customer first, always. I’ve gotten used to phrases like: “Their ‘be human’ might be their weakest value, but I can see the ‘own it’ and I think the team could use someone who knows how to be held accountable for bigger projects.”
- Be honest with the candidate about the values that you need to work on or don’t resonate with that much. When discussing the value(s) that you associate with the most, we sometimes forget it’s ok to discuss the ones you need to work on too. We’re all not perfect and can always get better so explain that to the candidate and this will start a new discussion with the candidate that can help you learn more about them.
Your mission, purpose and values should shine through in everything your company does, but especially during the recruiting process.